Boxer pros and cons
Owning a Boxer comes with pros and cons associated with this breed. Boxers are highly active and can spend hours playing with older kids. These family friendly dogs need a couple of hours of exercise every day, which is an advantage for families with energetic children. There are more Boxer dog pros and being responsive to positive training is one of them. Boxers are eager to learn new commands and a small treat as a reward for good behavior goes a long way during training process. Boxers are naturally curious and enjoy mental exercises. Provide your pet with an interactive dog toy or a treat dispenser and let the Boxer use his intellectual abilities as he is figuring out how to get the treats out of the toy.
Boxer cons include the following. Boxers can be sloppy eaters which can be a shock to a new Boxer owner. Boxers are brachycephalic and can easily get overheated during the hot weather. Boxers need to be in an air conditioned room during hot summer days to prevent overheating. Owning a Boxer breed has another disadvantage - this brachycephalic breed is not accepted by most airlines and traveling by plane can be an issue for Boxer dog owners if they want to bring the dog along for the trip. Boxers are highly active and leaving a Boxer home alone with nothing to do is asking for trouble. The disadvantage of owning a high energy dog breed is that unless the dog has a constructive outlet for his energy, the Boxer is prone to destructive behaviors. The dog will try to find something to keep himself busy such as excessive barking, chewing on things that may be valuable to the owners or scratching furniture. Energetic and active owners who can spend most of the time with the dog are ideal for Boxers.
Do Boxers shed? Yes, and even though this dog breed is short coated, Boxers need regular brushing to minimize the amount of dog hair around the house. Furminator deshedding tool can be used to keep Boxer shedding to a minimum. See video below where a Boxer owner is testing a Furminator brush.
Boxers have a short coat and Furminator deshedding tool for short coat can effectively help to remove the dead hair from the dog's coat.
Boxer dog size
Boxer male weight: 66 to 70 lb (30 to 32 kg)
Boxer female weight: 55 to 59 lb (25 to 27 kg)
Boxer dog size:
Boxer male height: 22 to 25 inches at the withers (57 to 63 cm)
Boxer female height: 20 to 23 inches at the withers (53 to 60 cm)
Boxer coat: smooth, short and tight-fitting
Boxer dog color: fawn or brindled, with or without white markings, and white
How many puppies do Boxers have?
Boxer litter size: 4 to 8 puppies
How long do Boxers live?
Boxer lifespan: 9 to 11 years
How much does a Boxer dog cost?
Boxer dog price starts at $300 and up depending on many factors
A Boxer dog was developed to serve as guard, working, and companion dog and combines strength and agility with elegance and style. This is an alert dog and his temperament is steadfast and tractable. If you like a quiet life, a Boxer breed is not for you. Boxers have a lot of energy and need about two hours of exercise every day, otherwise the Boxer may look for other ways to use his energy and can engage in destructive behaviors. Lively, boisterous boxers will not be happy sitting in an apartment all day long. This athletic breed needs a lot of space to run around and as a result the dog breed is not recommended for small apartments. Although this breed needs to live indoors, having a backyard where your Boxer can stretch his legs can help to satisfy the dog's need to release its boundless energy. Are Boxers good with kids? Boxers are great for families with kids and make loving and loyal companion dogs that live to please their owners. Boxers need to be around their families as they are very sociable dogs and if you are not able to spend a lot of time with your Boxer then consider getting two Boxers for companionship. Boxers do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They tend to stay energetic until the old age. Even at ten years of age your Boxer may still act like a two year old dog in terms of energy.
Many Boxer owners agree that this is a very clever dog breed. If at first a Boxer doesn't succeed at getting what he wants, he will try as many different ways as necessary until he succeeds. Some Boxers even learn to open a refrigerator doors and help themselves with a snack. For someone who has never owned a Boxer seeing a Boxer eating and drinking may be a shocking event. Boxer dogs aren't very neat eaters. Boxer owners are used to their dogs sprinkling of dinner remnants around the food bowl and water may be dribbled across the floor as the dog moves away from his bowl. The dog is not intentionally trying to be messy. The way the jaw and the upper hanging lips are constructed makes it impossible for the dog to be a neat eater or drinker. Drooling may also be an issue for this breed when a Boxer is exercising or when he spots something that smells like a good dinner. Boxers are also known for their flatulence especially after a meal. This can be quite offensive to owners of more delicate constructions, but most Boxer owners take it in stride. The reason for Boxer flatulence may stem from digesting certain foods and can be controlled through a carefully selected diet.
Originally bred as a guarding breed, Boxers may be wary with strangers. This fearless dog will show curiosity and courage if threatened. Socialize your Boxer early on to raise a confident and well-mannered dog that will be your pride and joy.
Types of Boxer dog
There are three types of Boxer dogs, including the German Boxer, the UK Boxer Dog and the American Boxer.
German Boxer Dog
German Boxer dogs are the biggest of the three types of Boxer dogs. German boxers have bigger bone structure, bigger heads and have more muscle than American and English Boxers.
American Boxer Dog
American Boxer has no wrinkles and the dog's coat is shinier and tighter than German or English Boxer coat.
UK Boxer Dog
English Boxers have little paws with higher knuckles than other types of Boxer dogs.
All three Boxer types tend to have a dominant temperament and need an owner, capable of being a fair, but kind leader. Boxers are used for police dogs, military work, search and rescue, competitive obedience and more. This working breed is suitable for active families that enjoy spending time with the energetic dog.
In the early days of the Boxer breed, the white color was accepted by the German Boxer Klub. The white color fell out of favor when it was discovered that a white messenger dog was much more visible at night than a darkly colored dog. In the United States, the standard has always read that a Boxer dog with too much white possesses a disqualifying fault despite the fact that as much as 25 percent of every litter is white.
There are fanciers of white Boxers who would like to see the white Boxer accepted as an allowable color in the breed standard as well as in breeding programs. Critics say that this would cause issues because the white coat color is linked to genetic deafness, which would add one more health issue for breeders to worry about. Currently, white Boxer owners can get Purebred Alternative Listing numbers for their dogs and compete in many of the AKC's performance events.
Boxer cropped ears and docked tails
To achieve the permanently erect Boxer ears, the ears must be trimmed to a point and the edges stitched to close the wound. The ears must then be taped and put in a rack so that they heal in the proper position and don't flop. The procedure is performed by a veterinarian with the Boxer under anesthetic. The breed's ears have been cropped in this fashion since the beginning of the breed. Since the 1980s, however, it has been illegal in many countries to crop a dog's ears. German boxers have been spotting natural ears for decades now. In the United States, an increasing number of Boxer owners are not cropping their dogs' ears, either because they favor the look of the natural ear, or they don't want to spend the money and time necessary to insure that the cropped ears will heal correctly. The breed standard was revised in 2005, to include guidelines for judging natural or uncropped ears. This revision effectively allowed Boxers with uncropped ears to be competitive in the show ring with cropped-ear Boxers.
Boxer tails are generally docked by a veterinarian within the first few days following the puppies' birth. This is not so anymore in many European countries where tail docking has been banned and the Boxer has a full tail. Currently a natural tail is not desirable in the show ring, but it is not a disqualification. This allows European Boxers with natural ears and tails to compete with American Boxers in the ring. Some German trainers relate that after decades of working with docked tails and now working with full tails, they believe the full tail gives the Boxer more balance and agility.
Depending on your financial situation, dog ownership may be very expensive. On average a Boxer puppy price is about $2,000. This is just the initial cost of the dog that does not include other first year ownership expenses that include:
Dog crates for Boxers
A crate trained dog is much easier to travel with because the dog is in a familiar environment during the trip, which helps to minimize the travel related stress. Transporting a Boxer in a crate is the safest way to travel with the dog as the dog is not likely to accidentally escape. Crate should be used as the dog's sleeping area at home. Dogs are den living animals and they need to have a space where they can rest and enjoy a peaceful time. A young Boxer puppy may get in a lot of trouble if left alone even for an hour. A crate can keep the puppy and your belongings safe when you can not supervise the dog. Do not leave a Boxer puppy for longer than an hour or two in a crate. Dogs should not be locked in a crate for hours on end. A crate should not be used as a way to punish the dog - this will only deter the dog from using the crate in the future. A crate is a great potty training tool when used properly. Dogs do not like to soil the area where they sleep and can be housetrained easier than dogs that are allowed to run free during housebreaking time.
Dog nail clippers will help to care for Boxer's nails. Trim the dog's nails once every six weeks. Overgrown nails can cause pain and discomfort as the dog is walking and in severe cases can even change the dog's gait.
If you accidenally cut your Boxer's nail too much and the dog nail is bleeding, styptic powder can quickly help stop bleeding.
There are other expenses not mentioned above that may include medical emergencies, dog training, vacation boarding and more that can really add up to the first year of owning a Boxer.
Boxer dog training
The intelligence, versatility and athleticism of the breed make a Boxer a good choice for a variety of competitive sports including agility, flyball, disk competitions, and Schutzhund. Boxers are natural agility dogs that are quite trainable.
It is important to start training your Boxer at a young age. Boxers can jump on furniture and if you are not planning to let your Boxer take over the couch then provide the dog with his own dog bed and train your Boxer to not jump on furniture in the house. Training the Boxer starts the minute you bring the puppy home. Establish the house rules as soon as the Boxer puppy arrives. It is easier to train your Boxer not to jump on any house furniture from the very beginning. There should be no exceptions and all family members need to follow the same rules for the dog to realize that jumping on a furniture is not allowed. Boxers may be tempted to eat off of countertops in the kitchen and you may wish to train your Boxer to not enter the kitchen area at all. Puppy proof your home before you bring a Boxer puppy. Boxer puppies are very active up until about eighteen months of age and need constant supervision. It is important to play with Boxer puppies and to socialize them. Take the puppy with you whenever dogs are allowed to go and introduce him to different people of all ages. Let your dog experience the sounds of traffic on a busy street and be petted by kids in the park. Your goal is to introduce your puppy to as many new experiences as possible while keeping the dog comfortable and relaxed in the process. A well-socialized dog is confident and comfortable in different environments because the owners took the time to introduce the dog to all kinds of circumstances while the dog was still a puppy. Boxer puppies need an owner with a lot of energy so that the person can keep up with the energetic puppies. For older people it is best to get an older boxer as the dog is better matched to the owners in energy levels. Boxers are prey-driven and as a result getting a kitten when you have an adult Boxer at home may not end well. Boxers need to be socialized to other pets starting at an early age. If you are getting a Boxer puppy, it is much easier to accustom the young dog to a kitten or a cat.
Boxers are known to enjoy chewing on things. They chew because of boredom or due to teething. You can not stop the chewing instinct, but you can provide your dog with the chewing dog toys that are safe for your pet to chew on. Let your dog enjoy a chewing toy or a rawhide bone to keep the dog happy and your shoes safe. Keep your shoes and other things that the dog may find fun to chew away from the Boxer's view. If you find your pet chewing on something he is not supposed to chew, calmly replace the item with a chewing toy. With time the dog will learn which things he is allowed to chew on.
Digging is another hobby that some Boxer dogs are so fond of. If your Boxer likes to dig in your beautiful garden, it is a good idea to allocate a spot in the garden where your Boxer can dig his tunnel straight to China if he likes, otherwise you may see many craters in the garden and this can take the joy away from any proud gardener. To encourage your Boxer to dig in the spot that is allocated for his digging, place some dog toys or chewing bones in that area to attract your dog to that specific area and thus save the rest of your garden. Other ways of managing the digging behavior include lots of physical activity, long walks, mental stimulation so that your dog is busy with activities other than digging.
Happy Boxers do not get destructive because they spend most of their time with their owners and are supervised most of the time. Happy Boxers get plenty of love and interaction from humans and are much less likely to get bored and then destructive.
Once you bring a Boxer home, it is time to start housetraining him. Potty training a Boxer requires your attention and dedication. Be on the lookout for the signs that the Boxer puppy is ready to use a potty. The potty readiness signs include the dog sniffing the floor and walking in circles, looking for the perfect spot to do his deed. As soon as you notice any of these signes, take the Boxer to the designated potty area and let the dog do his thing. You may want to pick a command word for potty training, for example, say "Go Potty" as the dog is busy in the potty area. As soon as the dog is done, praise him and give the Boxer a small treat right away. This will help a Boxer to associate using the potty in the right place with getting rewarded and he will soon understand what is required of him. Do not punish the Boxer dog for accidents that are bound to happen during housetraining. Clean up the accident and continue to monitor the dog for the signs of readiness to use the bathroom. Use a dog odor clean up solution to completely eliminate the odor of the dog's urine. If the dog can smell his urine in any area, he is more likely to use the area again as his toilet. Dog clean up products are can help to completely removing the odor that dogs associate with potty area.
Punishing the Boxer dog for any accidents will make the housetraining more difficult and can slow the housetraining process. Stay consistent and positive during housetraining for faster training results.
Best dog brush for Boxers
Brush your Boxer's coat with a rubber brush that will remove all the dead hair. Rubber dog brush should ideally be used at least once a week. Rubber brushes help to increase circulation in the dog's skin and keeps the coat nice and shiny.
The short coated dog can not tolerate cold weather too long and should never be left outside. A Boxer is known as a brachycephalic breed, meaning it has a short nose and can not efficiently cool off during hot summer weather. Never leave your Boxer outside when the temperature is very hot and do not exercise your Boxer during the hot weather. Boxers have a short coat that doesn't protect the dog during walks on cold winter days. A good dog coat can help to keep your four legged friend warm and dry.
In the winter many roads are sprinkled with ice melting chemicals that can cause burns or irritation to Boxer's paws. Wipe the dog's feet to remove any ice or chemicals off the dog's paws after each walk.
Bathe the dog when necessary. It is not recommended to wash a Boxer more than once a month as frequent bathing may result in dry and itchy skin. Use a mild dog shampoo for bathing your dog.
Dog shower attachment can make bathing your Boxer easier.
Grooming wipes can be used to clean Boxer's skin folds, eye stains and so on.
Boxer dog's teeth need to be brushed every day to remove plaque. Unless plaque is removed, it will harden into a yellow tartar on the dog's teeth, harboring harmful bacteria. More than a half of all dogs suffer from dental issues by the age of 2 years old. Many owners do not realize that their dog's teeth need to be brushed daily. Early dental care with daily brushing will help your Boxer to get used to the procedure of having the teeth brushed. Use dog toothpaste to brush your pet's teeth as human toothpaste is not safe for dogs.
A good quality dog bed can keep your Boxer well rested and less interested in taking over your furniture. Healthy Boxers and older Boxers that may be suffering from arthritis can enjoy an orthopedic dog bed. Getting an ortho dog bed with a removable cover can help to keep it clean and fresh.
Best dog food for Boxers
Experts recommend to feed a Boxer twice a day because due to the fact that Boxers are a deep-chested dog breed, they are susceptible to Bloat which can result from overeating or overdrinking. Be careful about the amount of food you're feeding your Boxer. You don't want to overfeed your dog at one time. Boxers need to be in calm state when they are eating so that they do not swallow a lot of air along with the food. This helps to prevent Bloat. Keep your Boxer in a healthy weight. Overweight Boxers often have joint problems and they do not live as long as Boxers in healthy weight in general. Feed your Boxer with a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Good nutrition will help your Boxer to live a longer and healthier life. The average Boxer life expectancy is between nine and eleven years and some Boxer dogs live up to thirteen years or even more, depending on the general care and overall health of the dog. Do not feed your dog with human food as it does not have all the nutrients to keep the dog healthy. There are so many different dog food varieties. Many owners wonder if it's best to use wet dog food or dry dog food for their Boxer. The one advantage that dry dog food has is that it helps to keep the teeth clean and strong because it requires more chewing action as the dog is eating.
In order to determine if your Boxer is too thin, too fat or just right, feel the flesh covering your dog's ribs. If you exert slight pressure and can't feel any ribs, your Boxer needs to begin cutting back on his daily intake. If you are not exercising your Boxer, this could be a factor too. If you exert slight pressure and feel the dog's ribs, he is most likely about where he needs to be on the scale. If you don't even have to push your dog's sides to feel ribs, you will need to increase your dog's body weight. If a thin dog is eating but not gaining weight, be sure to have your veterinarian rule out that your dog's thinness is not being caused by parasites or disease.
Best dog food for Boxers is made by a recognized manufacturer that meets your dog's daily nutritional requirements. Your Boxer should also like the way his dog food tastes otherwise the dog may refuse eating it no matter how nutritious the food is. Check the label to make sure that it has been certified by AAFCO or the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), depending on where you live. AAFCO and CVMA cetrtfications confirm that the dog food has been assessed in feeding trials for a certain life stage. These certified foods have undergone feeding trials to prove that they at least meet minimal standards.
For owners of more than one dog, feeding them in their crates will help to avoid unnecessary squabbles between dogs and is one more step required to prevent grudge from developing between two antagonistic Boxers.
Boxer health issues
Boxers are prone to heart diseases. Check with the Boxer breeder if the dog was tested for serious hereditary diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, ARVC, and subaortic stenosis before you get one. Bloat can be an issue for Boxers as the breed is deep chested. Feed the dog twice a day to lower the chance of the dog developing bloat.
Although many Boxer owners adore the dog's short snout, brachycephalic breeds have cons associated with the short muzzle. For example, Boxers are brachycephalic and they can not effectively cool themselves during very hot weather. Keep your Boxer dog in an air-conditioned room during hot summer days and provide the dog with fresh drinking water. Another health related disadvantage for Boxers is that the dog breed is susceptible to cancer.
Boxers are susceptible to allergies, which is another Boxer dog breed con. Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, certain grasses, leaf mold and even flea bites and certain foods can cause a reaction in your dog.
Usually, a dog suffering form allergies will lick the pads of his feet, chew on his knuckles, rub his face, and scratch is belly or under his front legs. Severe allergic reactions can trigger ear infections that require immediate veterinary attention. Chronic allergies in dogs can cause skin infections, too. The Boxer typically responds to allergens with itchy, scaly skin and ear infections. Usually a veterinarian will prescribe something to immediately help to lessen the dog's discomfort. Antihistamines, steroids, cyclosporine, or topical medications may be prescribed, as well as medicated shampoos. If the dog's condition doesn't improve, the veterinarian will want to eliminate the possibility that the discomfort stems from food allergies. To clear the most common food ingredients that cause allergic reactions, your veterinarian will have you feed your Boxer a hypoallergenic food for six weeks and then gradually introduce individual proteins and grains. If food allergies are ruled out and the problem recurs, allergy testing by a specialist is probably in order.
Boxer ear infection
Whether your Boxer's ears are cropped or natural, chances are he may suffer from ear infection at some point in life. Ear infections are commonly caused by allergies and by foreign bodies in the ear. Ear infections can be detected early by regularly smelling your Boxer's ears. An infection will be foul smelling and strong. There may also be excessive discharge coming from the affected ear. Untreated infections can lead to middle and inner ear infections which are more serious and more difficult to treat. Take your Boxer to the veterinary clinic as soon as you notice any signs of ear infections in your pet.
Boxer breed was created in the 19th century in Germany. The following breeds were the selected as parents of the modern day boxer: Brabanter Bullenbeisser (a hunting breed that is now extinct and originated in Brabant, Belgium) and an early form of English Bulldog, which are mastiff type dogs. Both of these breeds were developed for the same purpose. This breeding introduced white and particolored or "check" dogs, and was the foundation of the Boxer breed as we know it today.